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Top 10 Restaurant Security Tips

cashier at concession stand Restaurants handle a good deal of cash and credit card transactions every day, and without the proper security measures, a restaurant is at greater risk of robbery or other security breaches. Although quick-service restaurants are typically at greater risk than full-service establishments, awareness of the potential dangers is the number one key to preventing criminal incidents on your restaurant premises. Take precautions by following these guidelines:

1. Be aware.

Maintain constant awareness of your restaurant. Try to keep an eye on who is coming in, who is just hanging around the doors, and how guests are acting. Encourage employees to keep their wits about them, even in busy times, to catch any fishy behaviors.

2. Deposit cash frequently.

Cash registers fill quickly during busy shifts, especially at quick-service restaurants with long lines of people waiting to order. Making frequent deposits into the safe, also known as cash drops, will help keep cash secured and fewer bills in the cash drawer.

3. Use safe bank deposit practices.

Robbers may watch restaurant managers for habitual behaviors, especially when it comes to taking cash deposits to the bank. Try to vary your behaviors by doing the following:

  • Vary the times you leave for the bank each day
  • Take different routes to the bank
  • Remove your restaurant uniform or cover up with a jacket
  • Make your cash deposit bag as inconspicuous as possible
4. Use a time-delayed safe.

Many safes have time-delay technology. This allows the safe to be opened only at certain times of the day, preventing robbers from retrieving the cash inside.

5. Install a surveillance program.

Surveillance cameras can make a difference both inside and outside the restaurant building. When potential thieves see that they could be recorded, they are less likely to try anything illegal. This can also help deter employee theft in the restaurant.

6. Do not accept large bills.

Quick-service restaurants would do well to create policies not to accept $50 or $100 bills. Although this can aggravate customers, it will help a restaurant's security situation immensely. Accepting large bills puts cashiers at risk, since a cash drawer full of $100s is more tempting to a robber than a cash drawer of $20s. » More on What To Do if Your Restaurant is Robbed

7. Secure the drive-thru.

The drive-thru can be an easy target for a robber in a vehicle, or even on foot. Install bullet-proof glass and windows that close automatically between transactions.

8. Never open or close alone.

Employees should always open and close the store in pairs, never alone. The expression, "safety in numbers" applies here. This should be a worker safety policy for all restaurants.

9. Prevent employee theft.

Take precautions against internal theft by being present with your team, monitoring employee behaviors and limiting access to cash or information when necessary. » More on How to Prevent Employee Theft

10. Lock the bathroom doors.

In quick-service restaurants, locking the bathroom doors and providing a key at the cashier station can be a way to keep bathrooms even safer from vandals and thieves who hide out in restrooms.

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